Will 2016 be any better?

Dear Ken Keller,

We’ve started to do planning for next year. In reviewing our numbers we see that overall, sales are up, but almost all of the growth is a result of a price increase we passed on to our clients as raw material costs went up. Our alternative was to eat the higher costs and have reduced margins. In my mind, we have some serious problems to deal with and while I have my own thoughts I’d appreciate you sharing ...

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The Thanksgiving Holiday, 2015

In a few short days, it will be Thanksgiving Day and then the holiday shopping frenzy will be upon us.

This is the time of year when many businesses are slowing down, wrapping things up and preparing for the next calendar year.

However, some companies remain busy, including those in retail, working hard to close every possible sale, collect every dollar and end the year on a high note.

Whatever your thinking is about the last few weeks of the year, take a ...

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The El Nino of Client Complaints

Dear Ken Keller,

My company is a service business and we operate seven days a week. During the busy months we can run two or three shifts, depending on the season.

I’ve noticed a trend that client complaints increase on the second and third shifts, but consistently peak on weekends. Monday through Friday we don’t get anywhere as many complaints but the day shift staff spends time addressing all the complaints, which reduces their productivity.

In an attempt to find the root cause ...

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Raises and promotions and offices, Oh My!

Dear Ken Keller,

I’m not sure what has precipitated this, but I am being constantly approached by my employees. About raises.

Now, if they wanted to share an idea offer up a suggestion that would be great, but instead I am being bombarded, almost hounded, with requests. What do these people want? A raise, more paid time off, a promotion with a bigger title and a private office.

Even if I wanted to I could not afford to give any of this, no ...

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